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Contents of this page:
Authorized Driver Policy (Overview ; Policy ; General requirements)
Driver's Obligations for Proper Vehicle Use
Guidelines for Entering into Car Rental Contracts
Car Rental Safety Tips
The University maintains commercial automobile liability coverage on University-owned or hired vehicles and physical damage coverage only on hired automobiles (rental cars). It does not maintain collision coverage on its fleet; rather, the University self-insures for collision, meaning there is no insurance coverage available for physical damage claims unless caused by a third party driver. In the event of an accident involving a University-owned vehicle or a rental vehicle, the department or office responsible for the travel will be charged a $300 deductible. There is no insurance coverage for theft of personal items from the vehicle.
There is no University coverage of any kind for personal vehicles used by employees, students or volunteers. The only coverage available would be whatever personal coverage the owner of the vehicle carries.
Since the University maintains physical damage coverage on hired automobiles (rental cars), the University recommends that when leasing a car, you decline the collision damage and liability waiver, except when leasing in a foreign country. For additional guidelines to follow when leasing an automobile, please refer to the "Guidelines for Entering into Car Rental Contracts."
Authorized Driver Policy
(Revised September 2009)
If an individual plans to drive on University business, (whether using a University-owned vehicle or personal vehicle) the individual must be cleared and authorized to drive prior to the trip (see the chapter on "Use of University Vehicles").
An AUTHORIZED DRIVER REQUEST (see example) should be submitted to the Office of Human Resources at least five (5) working days before the trip. The form should be signed by the individual and his or her appropriate supervisor. The information contained in this form will be used to request a Motor Vehicle Record (MVR). If the MVR reflects three or more moving violations, regardless of fault, the request will be denied. The request will also be denied if the MVR reflects a DWI or a DUI. To avoid delays and ensure that the request is processed in time, you may submit the form at the beginning of each year, if possible. It will be the individual’s responsibility to notify his or her supervisor if moving violations received subsequent to approval are in violation of University policy.
Trinity University regards the safety of its employees, students, and volunteers as one of its top priorities. Every time you drive for the University, you represent the University and are responsible for your actions as well as for the safety and security of all passengers and citizens of the community.
In order to assure that safety precautions are taken, the University has established certain policies and procedures to which eligible drivers must agree before being approved as an authorized driver for the University.
All authorized drivers of University-owned vehicles, and those using their personal vehicles on University business, must comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws as well as University policies and procedures.
To be a University-authorized driver, employees, students or volunteers must possess a safe driving record, have a valid driver’s license, and provide proof of personal auto liability coverage (required only if using a personal vehicle).
The University prefers experienced drivers, especially when driving vehicles other than passenger cars or for extended trips of eight hours or more. The authorized driver must always carry the appropriate valid license when operating the vehicle.
The University expects all authorized drivers to operate the vehicle in a safe and efficient manner. Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is strictly prohibited.
The following University general requirements must be met before an employee, student or volunteer is permitted to drive for University business.
3. General Requirements
a. The driver must have a valid driver’s license and must carry the license when operating the vehicle.
b. The driver must have a safe driving record. If three or more moving violations, a DWI, or a DUI exist within a three (3) year period on his or her motor vehicle record with the Department of Public Safety, then the request will be denied. A Trinity University student with two or fewer years of driving experience must have no moving violations on his or her record.
c. The driver must secure annual clearance from the Office of Human Resources by submitting an AUTHORIZED DRIVER REQUEST (see example).
d. The driver must be authorized to drive for University business by the department director or office supervisor and must obtain any other necessary approval authorization.
e. The driver must not drive a University vehicle except on official University business.
f. Transportation of unauthorized passengers is prohibited.
g. Personal vehicles used for University business must be properly registered, have a valid inspection sticker and be in safe working condition.
h. Seat belts must be worn at all times by both the driver and the passengers. Vehicles that do not have operable seat belts may not be used for University business.
i. A safety plan, especially for extended trips, should be developed to address concerns such as, but not limited to, the following:
- What to do in the event of an accident
- What to do if someone should get ill on a trip
- Who is an alternate driver (clearance is required if an alternate driver is needed)
- Whom to contact in case of an emergency
Each department or office will be responsible for developing and implementing such a plan.
j. For extended trips, the authorized driver may drive no longer than ten hours at one stretch (this does not include breaks). After ten hours, there must be a break of eight hours off the road. There will be no exceptions.
k. All authorized drivers are required to review the Guidelines for Safe Driving yearly and adhere to the "Driver’s Obligations for Proper Vehicle Use" (see section C below). Drivers will acknowledge having read the Guidelines for Safe Driving by signing and dating the AUTHORIZED DRIVER ACKNOWLEDGEMENT FORM (see example) to be kept by the department or office for which they will be driving. The department or office should retain the AUTHORIZED DRIVER ACKNOWLEDGEMENT FORM for at least three (3) years.
l. The three categories of drivers the University recognizes are (1) frequent drivers, (2) drivers with permanently issued University vehicles, and (3) occasional drivers.
m. For out-of-town trips, the driver or supervisor must prepare a list of those students attending, dates of travel, the destination, and submit the information to the supervisor’s office prior to travel. Student drivers should refer to the University policy for trips, conferences and retreats as specified in the Student Handbook.
n. All authorized drivers who plan on driving a passenger van must complete both parts of the University van driving course offered through the Environmental Health & Safety Office prior to the trip. Part one is a computer interactive course that takes approximately 15 minutes. Part two is the check ride that is conducted only on the first Wednesday of every month from 8:00 to 11:00 a.m. Call the Environmental Health & Safety Office at extension 7004 to arrange for an appointment. For more information go to Environmental Health and Safety Office/van driving course. Trinity University prohibits the use of cell phones while driving a van. If the need to use a cell phone arises, driver must not be operating the vehicle.
o. In addition to these general requirements, all frequent drivers and those issued permanent University vehicles will also comply with any other department or office policies and procedures.
Driver’s Obligations for Proper Vehicle Use
All authorized drivers who operate a University vehicle or a personal vehicle on University business will adhere to this statement of University policy:
1. Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is strictly prohibited.
2. The transportation of unauthorized passengers (i.e., hitchhikers) is prohibited.
3. Vehicles owned by Trinity University are to be used for business only. Personal use is not permitted.
4. The driver and all passengers are required to wear seat belts. Vehicles that are not equipped with operable seat belts are not to be used on University business.
5. The vehicle shall be operated according to University regulations and applicable federal, state and local laws.
6. The driver assumes full responsibility for any and all fines or traffic violations associated with his or her operation of a University-owned vehicle.
7. All drivers shall be in possession of a valid driver’s license at all times.
8. When the vehicle is left unattended, the vehicle ignition must be off, and the vehicle must be locked.
9. Proper use of turn signals is required of all drivers at all times.
10. The driver is responsible for ensuring that tires, headlights, turn signals, taillights and windshield wipers are clean and operational.
11. All authorized drivers are required to review the Guidelines for Safe Driving yearly, and to acknowledge having read the Guidelines by signing and dating the AUTHORIZED DRIVER ACKNOWLEDGEMENT FORM (see example), which is to be kept by the department or office.
12. University vehicles are not to be driven "off the road" unless the vehicle is appropriate for that use. Vehicles should not be driven at speeds that are not appropriate for road conditions or that exceed posted speed limits.
13. University vehicles should not be used to jump-start, push or tow other vehicles unless the University mechanic provides specific permission or instruction.
14. Emergency repair work to University vehicles should be performed by trained, authorized mechanics where feasible. Report all repairs to the University mechanic.
15. Report any accidents or damage immediately to your supervisor and to Trinity University Police. In case of an accident, employees should follow these guidelines:
Keep calm and do not argue with other persons involved in the accident. Your arguing may result in unnecessary legal action. Never make any statements concerning fault or guilt. Never agree to make payments for the accident.
If injury is involved, get immediate medical aid. Report injuries you sustain to your supervisor, Health Services and the Office of Human Resources.
Notify police. In order to collect on some insurance coverage a police report may be necessary.
Discuss the accident only with police officers, the University's insurance representatives or Trinity officials. Refer all questions from lawyers, other involved parties, and others to the Director of Risk Management and Insurance.
Take down as much information as you can on all other party(ies) to the accident (e.g., insurance company, driver's name, license number, plate number, make of car, model of car, year, how accident happened, witnesses, addresses, phone numbers, etc.).
If you are out of town on business, telephone a report to 1) your supervisor and 2) the University Police at (210) 999-7070.
16. Avoid using a cell phone while driving. Trinity University prohibits the use of cell phones while driving a van.
1. Reduce speed below the posted limit while traveling on wet or slippery roads or in dense fog or heavy rain.
2. Use turn signals for every turn or lane change.
3. Exercise extra caution when backing up.
4. Concentrate on driving.
5. Review supplemental guidelines, policies and procedures that may be specific to the department or office you are driving for.
Guidelines for Entering into Car Rental Contracts
The University’s commercial automobile liability policy provides physical damage and liability coverage for rental cars; therefore, it is not necessary to purchase the insurance provided by the rental agency. For more information about coverage for leasing automobiles in foreign countries, call the Office of Human Resources, ext. 7507.
When renting a car, either for personal driving or for company business, one assumes four risks:
Therefore, in order to minimize the risks that may exist, the University requires that all employees, students or volunteers driving rental cars on official University business adhere to the following guidelines.
These guidelines are intended not only to protect the University and the driver, but also to raise awareness of the liabilities that can be assumed when entering into a car rental agreement.
1. Car rental practices and agreements vary with each company and from one city to another. Since there are no University restrictions as to the selection of car rental firms, it is very important to read thoroughly and understand the car rental agreement into which you are entering.
2. The University recommends declining the "collision damage waiver" offered by car rental firms, except when leasing a car in a foreign country. The University carries collision coverage on leased automobiles.
3. The University recommends declining the "liability insurance waiver," except when leasing a car in a foreign country. This coverage is also provided by the University’s commercial automobile liability policy.
4. The University’s commercial automobile liability policy does not cover any loss to personal effects or baggage. The renter can purchase this type of coverage; however, it will not be considered a University-reimbursable expense.
5. When renting a car, be sure all persons who will be driving the car are listed on the rental agreement and that they comply with the age requirement as stipulated by the rental firm.
6. Follow the required steps outlined by the rental firm in reporting an accident. Most importantly, report the accident to University Police, to the Director for Risk Management and Insurance and to your immediate supervisor as soon as possible.
7. Safety considerations must be taken when operating a vehicle. Seat belts are to be worn at all times by the driver and passengers. Consumption of any substance that is known to impair driving immediately prior to the operation of the vehicle or while driving is strictly prohibited.
8. Carry the University’s auto liability insurance card when using a rental car for University business. This will serve as proof of liability insurance.
9. In addition, you must adhere to all requirements detailed in the University’s Authorized Driving Policy.
Car Rental Safety Tips
Driving a rented car can be just as easy and safe as driving your own automobile—with the right preparation. How can you be sure that you’re properly prepared each time you drive a rental? Here are some National Safety Council suggestions that can help to put you on the road to car rental success, especially where your safety is concerned.
1. Spend a few minutes getting acquainted with your rental car.
2. Take a look at the dashboard. Note the location of the speedometer, the temperature gauge, and so on.
3. Locate the air conditioner, heater, windshield wiper and washer, defroster, and light switches. Turn them on and off to make sure that you know how they work.
4. Test the brakes—with the engine running—to get the "feel" of them. Some brakes are "softer" than others, and you don’t want to discover this when you’re stopping for the first red light. At the same time, get the "feel of the wheel" by testing the "play" in the steering wheel. And make sure the emergency brake works.
5. It’s a good idea to inspect the rented car to make sure that everything’s in working order:
- Be sure the tires are properly inflated. Under inflated or over inflated tires can greatly affect your safety, especially at high speeds.
- Check the headlights. Know where the switch is even if you’ll only be driving during daylight hours—you might suddenly find yourself driving through a tunnel or facing a weather front in which you would want to turn on your lights.
- Test the turn signals, windshield wipers and horn for any operating problems.
- Inspect the contents of the trunk. It should have a spare tire and a jack in it. Inquire about the availability of an emergency road kit if you’re interested in extra protection or provide your own.
- If you need special equipment, such as chains for driving on ice or child restraint seats, be sure to ask for it before you leave the rental lot.
- Check for any scratches or dents and report them to the rental agency before you leave the premises. Although these will probably not affect the car’s performance, you do not want to be held responsible for them when you return the automobile.
6. The differences between the rented car and the car you own may be more significant than simply the layout of the dashboard or the positioning of the gear shift. Following are some examples:
- If you’re used to driving an automatic and the rented car is a stick shift or vice-versa, it’s important to reacquaint yourself with handling the new transmission before you begin driving.
- Power steering and power brakes require a light touch. If you’re not used to driving with them, you may want to get a "feel" for them before moving into heavy traffic.
- You may be used to a big car and the extra power that it affords you. Or, you may be used to squeezing your little compact into the smallest of parking spaces. In any case, if your rental car is significantly larger or smaller than the car you usually drive, be aware of its limitations.
- If you’re concerned about the differences between the car you rent and the car your own, you might want to request a rental that is similar to the make and model of your own automobile. Most rental agencies will be happy to oblige if they carry that model.
7. Customize the rented car to your personal driving habits.
- Position the driver’s seat so that you feel comfortable and at ease behind the wheel.
- Be sure the headrest is level with the top of your ears.
- Adjust the rearview and side view mirrors so that they’re in the right positions for you.
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For further information, please call (210) 999-7507, or write to:
Office of Human Resources
One Trinity Place
San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
This page is provided to you for informational purposes. Trinity University does not assume liability for omissions, typographical errors, or policy changes that are not updated immediately on this or other official university web pages.
This page was last modified on May 09, 2012.